During an interview on CNN, analyst Quanta Ahmed, a Muslim physician, countered the narrative that President Donald Trump or other Republicans are Islamophobic.
Following the horrific mosque shootings in New Zealand that claimed the lives of 50 worshipers, several were quick to tie the tragedy to President Trump as the shooter left a manifesto in which he claimed he committed the atrocious act in the name of white supremacy and mentioned President Trump by name.
Ahmed, however, told a different story of how Muslims worldwide feel about Republican presidents like Trump and former President George W. Bush. During her interview on Saturday, she explained that Trump is “beloved” by many Middle Eastern Muslims for his efforts to thwart the Islamic State and protect Kurdish Muslims.
AHMED: it is FALLACY to claim the #Trump administration is '#Islamophobic' – On the anniversary of #Halabja and #Anfaal #genocide perpetrated by #SaddamHussein & Iraqi Arab government on Iraqi #Kurds claiming 180,000 lives only ended because of a #Republican @POTUS pic.twitter.com/e6sTT6xz3t
— Qanta Ahmed (@MissDiagnosis) March 17, 2019
“Viewers should know, this president and this administration is often castigated as Islamophobic, but I move in the Muslim world — in Egypt, in Oman, in Jordan, in Iraqi Kurdistan — where this president is beloved. This president and the Republican party, going back to George Bush, is very dearly held.”
Ahmed pointed to March 16 as the 31st anniversary of the Halabja Massacre in which the Iraqis under Sadam Hussein dropped chemical weapons on the Kurdish people, killing between 5,000 and 7,000. This massacre was part of the Anfal campaign which resulted in a genocide that claimed the lives of 180,000 Kurds.
“Today’s the anniversary of Halabja, the massacre of 180,000 Kurds at the hands of Sadam Hussein. That only changed because of a Republican president,” said Ahmed.
She continued, “It’s very important not to lose so much perspective that we start believing our entire government is Islamophobic. That’s not the case.”
Recently, President Trump reaffirmed his desire to protect the Kurdish people as a key part of his slow withdrawal from Syria, saying, “We want to protect the Kurds, nevertheless. We want to protect the Kurds, but I don’t want to be in Syria forever. It’s sand. And it’s death.”